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IFC TO ADD NEW STOCK MARKETS TO THE IFC INDEXES


Yuko Onuma
Phone: (202) 473-8794
Fax: (202) 974-4384
E-mail: yonuma@ifc.org


WASHINGTON, D.C., July 1—The International Finance Corporation (IFC) announced today that it will add Egypt, Israel, Morocco, Russia and Slovakia to the IFC Investable (IFCI) Composite index. The inclusion of the new markets will bring country coverage of the IFCI Composite index to thirty-one countries. The new markets will be included in the IFCI Composite index effective November 3, 1997.

IFC has developed a series of indexes for investors interested in investing in stock markets in developing countries. The IFCI indexes measure returns foreign portfolio investors might receive from those stocks available to foreign investors. These indexes are widely used by index tracking funds. Industry sources estimate that approximately $7.5 billion is managed in index funds linked to the IFCI indexes and that billions more are benchmarked against these indexes.


"Many of the exciting new developments in emerging markets over the past few months have been in Eastern Europe and the Middle East," said Robert Shakotko, Manager of IFC's Emerging Markets Index Group. "The markets in these two regions have been growing rapidly because of many new issues and privatizations coming to the market as well as higher prices for existing listed issues. Consequently, investor interest has been strong, and we expect the addition of these five new countries to the IFCI Composite to reinforce that interest."


Indicative weights for the five new countries in the IFCI Composite are as follows: Russia (2.9%), Israel (1.8%), Egypt (0.6%), Morocco (0.5%), and Slovakia (0.1%).


IFC provides comprehensive and reliable statistics on emerging stock market performance, with the ultimate objective to stimulate the flow of private capital to emerging markets.


IFC is a member of the World Bank Group and is the leading multilateral source of equity and loan financing for private sector projects in developing countries. It is also the world's leading publisher of data on stock markets in developing countries.